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US government effort to regulate Big Tech stalls


App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Support is lagging for a centerpiece of U.S. government efforts to regulate Big Tech.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

A bill aimed at regulating Big Tech is reportedly losing support in the U.S. Senate. The fate of the American Choice and Innovation Online Act is now in question.

It is a Democratic proposal but some Senate Democrats are leery about voting for it in an election year.

Proposed law would force profound changes on Apple App Store


Proposed law would force profound changes on Apple App Store
Lawmakers might require Apple to completely change the App Store.
Photo: Thuan Vo/Pexels

A trio of U.S. Senators introduced a bill that would force Apple to allow sideloading of applications and alternative iOS app stores. Other modifications to Apple’s and Google’s business models would be required as well.

Whether the proposed Open App Markets Act will pass is anyone’s guess. So far, Big Tech has always talked lawmakers out of passing legislation that would put significant restrictions on it. But if this bill becomes a law, the App Store will never be the same again.

Proposed legislation might force Apple to sell App Store


App Store
The App Store might have to become a separate company from Apple.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

A bipartisan bill expected to be proposed in the U.S. congress would, if passed, have an enormous effect on Big Tech. The legislation, reportedly called the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, might force Apple to make the App Store a completely separate business not under its control.

Apple lobbyist helps push back Right to Repair vote in California


Cult of Mac's buyback program pays good money for your gear, even broken ones.
Laws will be pushed back to 2020 at least.
Photo: Warren R.M. Stuart/Flickr CC

Right to Repair legislation in Apple’s home state of California has been successfully pushed back to at least January 2020. After intervention by an Apple lobbyist, the co-sponsor of the bill pulled it from committee on Tuesday.

“While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns,” said California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman.

Proposed U.K. laws could crack down on ‘harmful’ apps


Apple removes 17 malware apps which secretly clicked on ads
Censorship or common sense? Expect to see this issue heavily debated.
Photo: Apple

Apple could be among the companies having to censor certain apps and websites as a result of new proposed U.K. laws. Designed to combat “harmful” content online, the new laws would give censorship power to independent regulators tasked with overseeing apps and websites.

The view of “harmful” content is a broad one, including terrorism, self-harm, hate speech, child abuse, and more. It would mean that the U.K. government could have a say on the content that Apple sells or offers to customers in the United Kingdom.

Proposed privacy legislation outlaws some Google business practices


Apple takes privacy seriously
A statement on Apple’s stance toward privacy is baked into iOS.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) published a draft privacy bill this morning that proposes making it harder for companies to track people’s location or collect biometric information about them. 

Apple is a top donor to the CDT, and the company has taken a strong stance on protecting user’s privacy.

Apple wants US to overhaul privacy laws


Apple takes privacy seriously
Any future privacy legislation will likely have little effect on Apple as it already bends over backward to avoid collecting user information.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A high-level Apple executive will tell the the U.S. senate tomorrow that the iPhone maker is in favor of federal privacy regulations.

He’ll be testifying along with representatives of Google and other companies likely to argue against privacy laws.

Tim Cook teams up with Charles Koch to fight for dreamers


Tim Cook
Cook and Koch aren't usually homies.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch are usually on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but the two business titans are coming together to support a common cause: The Dreamers.

In a rare opinion piece authored by Cook and Koch, the two implore Congress to act now so that this holiday season isn’t the last one in the United States for 690,000 of our neighbors.

Legislators closer to forcing Apple to help unlock iPhones


Anti-encryption bill has received mixed reactions.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A bill that would force companies to help law enforcers decrypt private communication is one step closer to becoming a reality, after a draft was published this week.

Called the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, the bill would stop companies including Apple refusing to help organizations like the FBI, provided that proper court orders are given.

And — no surprises here! — it’s already proving controversial.